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January 29, 1922 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1922-01-29

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'rench Betrayal of
By Prof. F.
)ecember, 1917, a British army in. which he gives an account of his
General Allenby captured Je- experiencea. After the Armenians had
as. hene i foceditswaybeenr expelled from the cities, their
n. Tenceit orce itswayhouses and shops were systematically
northward. Damascus fell on pillaged and burned, and' Turks be-
it day of September, 1918. came rich from the loot.
)ctober. 1918, British armoried .At the close of the War the British
od a strong cavalry divisi n were in possession of all the Turkish
d Aleppo, near the northern territory which the Turks had evacu-
SSyrIa, and dislodged the rem- ated north of Egypt-Palestine and
of the 'iurkfsh army gathered Cilicia, with Syria and. Mesopotamiai
or a last stand." The Turks re- and. the strip of territory along the
northward, and on October,26 northern border of these countries.
ere defeated a few miles from The Arabs had rendered invaluable as-
in the last engagement of the sistance in the war, and the relations I
War in the Near East. The between them and the English were
h Armistice, which was equiva- cordial.
a an unconditional surrender, The peace-loving element of the
into force five days later, Oc- ,population, Moslenms and Christians
1. alike, bad confidence in the fairness
ousequence, at the end of 1918 and eveness of the IWritish Administra-
ilinor and the regions to the tion. The American Near East Re-
sfar as the Caspian Sea andl lief work was .extended rapidly overi
rder of Perssa were comipletely the regions occupied by the British
power of the Allies. The Turks and ministered to the needs of all
stained possession of most of through the establishment of boa-t
runtry, but they believed that pitals and the distr'ibution of supplies;
In re of power would depend on but it particularly devoted itself ,tot
ehavior, and were ready to com- the gathering and care of the thou-
th any reasonable demand. sands of orphan children who had I
he terms of the Amistice t e survived the massacres and were
were obliged to withdraw their found wandering like- wild beasts in
at once from the regions south the open or were in virtual bondage
'Caucasus Mountains, from Ci- in Turkish and Arab houses; also to
md from a broad strip of tsr- the rescuing of the Armenian women
east of Cilicia, along the north- who had been seized by the Turks.
rder of Syria and Mesopotamia, The latter were assembled in Refuge
controlled the route of the Homes, where they were protected and
ly completed "Berlin-Bagdad" given an opportunity to do useful
V. work.
la lies in the southeast corner Under these circumstances, the rem- I
Peninsula of Asia Minor, be- nants of the Arpasnian and Greek pop-
the Taurus Mountains on the ulation drifted back to the cities from
and the Mediterranean Sea on which they had been expelled. They
uth. It consists largely of bega o ebuilde aruin ihouses and I
plain, which supports three trsogtanw tr nlf
ant cities. Of these, one is In the midst of this constructive
,best known as the birthplace work, France intervened. She demand- I
Paul; the other two are the ed that she he permitted to have con-
-city, Merslna, on the coast, and trol of Syria and Cilicia. England,
on the Sarus River. In the in the face of plain understandings
east of Cilicla are the cities of with ,Arab leaders, who now accused
,north of Aleppo; Marash, her of betraying them, withdrew from
of Atntab; and further east is Syria, and also from Cilicia. As the
he Edessa of ancient history. British forces left the French took
hese cities befere the-War had possession.
e proportion of' ,ghristians in On December 11, 1919, the following I
population, chtefiy Armenians. proclamation was circulated in the
se of them there was a consid- French, .Turkish and Armenian lan- I
body of Orthodox Greeks, withe guages:
ler number of Turkish-s~peaking "To the inhabitants of the Pro-
rinChristians. vincial Districts of Aintah, Mar-
Chritias frme th mot ah, ad Urfa.
;entan prorev temt ofs"By order ofathe General of Di-.
pultin. 'rghess were ~the hea vision, Commander in Chief of
La and nifist of the ,trade was in the Army of the East, R~igh Coin-
had.The quarters of - the missioner of the French Repub-
a which they lived contained the hoin Syria and Cilicia, I assume
auses an4 shops, command of 'the French troops in
ng the War the Greeks in Asia ,the provincial districts of Aintab,
suffered tarribly. In some parts Marash, and Urfa.,
villages were destroyed. In "In accord with the Sultan, the
,rger cities Greek men were French Republic today extends its
from their homes and forced to protective action over Syria, Cl-
spon roads and railroads, under licia, .and the territories of the
conditions that, according to East. All the inhabitants, with-
the majority died of disease out distinction of race or of re-
arvatlon. ligion, are under the protection
tie horrors of the deportations of our arms, the power of which
assacres of the Armenians It Is has been' consecrated by Victory. :
casary to speak. A conserva- "We shall respect the religions,
tatement, based upon official the rights of private property and
ants and reports, is .presented the laws in the Ottoman Empire,
American Ambassador to Tur- and shall cause them to be re-
enry Morgenthau, in th~e book spebted.

Cilician Christians.
W. Kelsey
"After long years of War, the On the side of physical well-being
reign of peace and of toil has the French administration continued
come. Let all upright people the arrangements made by the British.
range themselves on the side of It provided rations and tents .for
France!" ' .refugees in need of such help, and
General Querette. co-operated with both the American
In Tarsus the French officer in com- Relief organization and English or-
nand was Major Coustilliers. Re de- ganizations which shared in the care
clared that the French had come to of orphans; but so far as I could learn
stay. Soon afterward he staged an the French officers maintained an at-
mposing ceremonial to celebrate the titude of complete indifference to the
raising of the French S ig; for no rescue of Armenian women still in
Tuckish flag was allowed to be seen. possession of the Turks.
Silitary orders were issued requirinig Meanwhile the delay of the Allies in
hat all the Christian population of setiling the Turkish problem gradual-
Tarsus should be present at the care- ly restored the courage of the Turks
nony. In anticipation, the children in Central and Northern Asia Minor.
s-are trained to sing the Marseillaise. By the beginning of 1920 the Nation-
The assembly for the flag-raising alist movement, whisch has for its
was beld in the open space in front purpose the perpetuation of the Turk-
If the French Barracks. Speeches of ish tradition of government, had gain-
felicitation to the French were made ad such headway as to become for-
n the various languages spoken by midable. Tragedies thickened.
the native Christians. Some of the In Bozanti, in the Taurus Moun-
speakers openly congratulated the na- tains, a relatively large detachment of
Ave Christians that the cruelties and French soldiers was reported cut off
'ule of the Turks were now forever in so that nothing more -was heard from
he past. them. The French garrison in Mar-
Major Coustilliers responded to the ash, after some fighting, abandoned
audatory sentiments of tjhe speakers, the city on a bitter cold night in Feb-
and accepted their congratulations. ruary, 1121, and set out for a three
Ha promised security of life and prop- days' march to a junction point. About
try. Re pledged himself to safeguard three thousand Armenians, who had
the honor of their homes. "Nous gathered in Macash after the mae-
sommes (ci," he saidim "et nous rest- sacres, fearing the Turks set out with
Irons ici." Precisely similar scenes them. A furious snow storm drove
aere enacted, and similar assurances over the marching column for twelve
gived, at Adana and Mersina. hours. The French pressed on with-
Afterward, but before the end of Out halting, but about a thousand of
1919, the United States Commission the refugees, among whom were many
headed by General Marbord came to women and children, were unable to
T'arsus. Two of my informants were keep up with them and perished in the
nvited to meet the train at the rail- snow.
way station and accompany General Soon afterward the French garrison
Harbord to Mersina. To the same in Urfa, left by the French High Coin-
tation In Tarsus a committee of prom- mand to its fate, siade terms with
nent Armenians came, with the ex- the Turks and marched out under a
etation of boarding the train and pledge of safe conduct. In a pass not
thus obtaining an opportunity to far from the city, it was treacher-
neet members of the American Coin- ously surrounded by the enemy and
nission. While they stood talking in annihilated. Aintab was besieged, hut
froot of the station Major Coustilliers held out. The cities of the Cilician
came up. Me divined their purpose, plain also remained in the hands of
and without affording opportunity for the French.
explanation he "brutally" (the word A ajn oprtvl hr
ased by the narrator) ordered them AtHdin opaaiel. hr
to leave the station "at once." Me distance north of Cilicia, finding no
was carrying a swagger stick, but other resource the Armenians of the
though his manner was threatening, region gathered,' organized for defense
he did not use it. He said that the and beseeched the Allies for help. A
Atrmenian Committee should under no deaf ear was turined to their entreat-
;ircumstances have an opportunity to Lies, and in November, 1920, after a
speak to the American Commiesion. siege of some months, the city fell.
The French soldiers at the station Of the Armepsians, estimated as high
rigorously followed up thd major's as ten thousand in number, I have the
ordecs, and accomplished the rapid word of a 'survivor that only three
ieparture of the Armenian commit.. hundred and twenty-five escaped. The
;ee rest, men, women and children, were
This incident, in itself of trivial in-inscmnaeybthrd
portance, is unfortunately typical. It .Now, if ever, the French should have
illustrates the (lack of intelligence joined with the British, who were
ahich the French Administration has fighting the Nationalist Turks on the
mrm the beginning manifested in its West side of Asia Minor opposite
relations with the natives in thsese Constantinople. By combined effort
regions. In Adana I was amazed to beyond doubt they would have been
mid Armenian soldiers in French uni- able to make good their pledges to
terms On 'guard. The majority of the the harried remnants of Christian pop-
inhabitants are Turks and the placing ulation that had come back into the
if a "foreign legion" of Armenians cities of Southeastern Asia Minor after
aver them had about the same dis- the massacres.
quieting effect that would have been But here the narrow and callous
produced in a southern city immedi- self-interest, which is the character-
ately after our Civil War in case a istic of French foreign policy, caught
regiment of Negro soldiers should a glimpse of economic advantages to
save been sent to police It. (Continued on Page 8)

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